Stan Becomes A Man

Working in Washington, D.C. has been an incredible experience. I’ve met many great people and have learned so much. Overall, the trip has been very humbling. It was interesting to see how people interact with each other in this city. People act very friendly but I can tell there is a huge sense of competition.

According to Robert Frost’s poem, “Two Tramps in Mud Time” two men come to apparently attempt to take his job as a lumberjack. Robert Frost wrote, “I knew pretty well why he had dropped behind. And let the other go on a way. I knew pretty well what he had in mind: He wanted to take my job for pay.”

This seems familiar with D.C. culture. Many people, especially on the hill, are seeking power. Many people constantly want to move up the ranks regardless of morality. While I’m not implying this is a majority of people in D.C., there is a disconnect between intent for public service and personal gain. This is something that I have been personally conflicted with as I question is this an area that I want to pursue a career in or if this town would just serve as a stepping stone for me in terms of personal growth.

I had a great experience working at the Northeast-Midwest Institute and I believe they do great work for the community and for the environment. For other companies this varies. I remember my uncle telling me a story when I was younger about one of his former jobs. He worked at a charity where he eventually got onto the board. After attending a few of the banquets, he began to question how much of the money was actually going to charity. Upon finding out that much of the money was being pocketed, he quit the job.

Relating to Robert Frost’s poem, I want a career that encompasses my values and morals. Wherever I may end up, I want to enjoy my job and work hard at it. I’m thankful for all D.C. has taught me, and I look forward to my future endeavors.

 

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Blog 7: Community Service

I woke up that morning of the community service event very tired. I hadn’t been able to sleep well the night before and only managed to get a few hours of sleep. However, I was excited for the event. Since I was young, my mother would take me to do community service events every weekend and I grew to appreciate doing charity work.

I managed to sleep for a few extra minutes on the metro before arriving at the location. I was a little bit cranky on the way up, but once we got there my attitude changed. The people that worked at the volunteer center were very friendly and likeable.

Once we were ready to begin, they asked for a few volunteers to work in the freezer. A few of us volunteered and they gave us massive one piece coats to wear. We loaded different assortments of meats into the freezer and sorted them. While it was very cold, it was a nice break from the D.C. humidity.

The community service event went great and I believe we all had a lot of fun attending it. It was a great way to spend time with each other while also working for a positive cause. I would be interested in doing another event around D.C. again.

One thing that I learned over the past week is that France has the best national soccer team in the world. I’ve been a major French soccer fan since I was young and I’m beyond happy that they won the World Cup. I was sad that I left my jersey in Arizona, but it was an incredible experience watching them win.

 

Abraham Lincoln, Gucci Mane, and Brett Kavanaugh walk into a bar

One thing that I learned from my father growing up is how to plan accordingly. He always told me this is one of the keys to success. Early on in my life I struggled to heed to this advice, but it helped me much later on. I prioritize planning out my days now and making sure to accomplish certain goals throughout. One quote on page 49 of  Essentialism says a lot about this. “Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs. It’s about deliberately choosing to be different.” I’ve realized since planning and strategizing certain plans and goals for myself, life goes much smoother. I’ll plan when to wake up, when to make breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.

Another thing that I *really* believe in is taking breaks to have time to yourself. Mental health is a very important part of sustainability as a human being. On page 66 of the book, the author quotes, “In order to have focus we need to escape to focus.” I like to go off by myself occasionally and enjoy personal adventures. One thing that I have always had a huge passion for is history. As weird as it sounds, Washington, D.C. has a lot of history involved with it.

Located across the street from my work there is the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Yesterday, while at work, I came across an advertisement on my computer that it was the 214th anniversary of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Oddly enough, the pistols that they had used in the duel exactly 214 years ago were being stored at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Again, I’m not entirely sure what stamps have to do with a former Vice President dueling the former Secretary  of the Treasury. However, I had time during my lunch break to go visit the museum. It was incredible to take time to see some of this history on the day that it happened centuries ago.

This week, I learned that Brett Kavanaugh is the newly nominated judge to the Supreme Court. I also learned that we happen to share the same birthday, which lands on the twelfth of February. This adds to my list of other notable people that I also share a birthday with. This list includes Abraham Lincoln and Radric Davis (Gucci Mane).

 

Blog 5: Fourth of July

I woke up on the fourth of July filled with the spirit of America. We started our day off with a true American breakfast of bacon and eggs, accompanied by Bruce Springsteen’s classic, “Born In The USA.” We made several plans for what we were going to do throughout the day. There was a few concerts going on at the Capital that we were looking forward to attending.

One of the concerts was The Temptations who I’ve always been a huge fan of, as well as Jimmy Buffett, and The Beach Boys. We headed out and got lunch at a restaurant near the Capital. Continuing on the true American tradition we got burgers for lunch.

After lunch we all went to the Capital to watch The Beach Boys. Before we got there I called my mom and dad to wish them a happy fourth of July. My dad also shares a birthday with the Fourth of July so I wished him a happy birthday. He was extremely excited to hear that I was about to see the beach boys. After The Beach Boys played “I Get Around” for the third time, we decided to head home and rest a little before the night concerts.

After taking a short break from the sun, we went back out to continue the Fourth of July festivities. We headed back to the Capital and I met up with one of my friends, Theo, from Arizona. We watched The Temptations with everyone and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

After the concert my friend Theo and I headed to the monument to meet up with a few of my other friends that were in town for the Fourth of July. We went to the National Monument to watch the fireworks. It was one of the best firework shows I had seen in a very long time. It was amazing to see Fourth of July festivities in the Nation’s Capital.

One thing that I learned over the week is about state settlements. I’ve been researching state settlements across the eighteen states in the northeast and the Midwest and venturing into how they impact different companies. This includes the major Volkswagen settlement which involves emission and the Clean Air Act. I’ve also been continuing my work on researching gun violence and have prepared extensive research on the subject. I look forward to continuing to update on these subjects.

 

Week 4

One day during our first week in D.C., we went to a restaurant near the office where I’m working. We told the waiter where we were from and that we went to Arizona State University. He told us that they had a regular at their restaurant who had graduated from Arizona State. We gave our waiter our business cards in hopes of meeting him.

The restaurant was great and I come back often during my lunch breaks. After a few times of coming back, I was finally introduced to the Arizona State alumni. He was also on his lunch break and was in a great mood. We talked for a while and I asked him several questions.

I asked him where he worked at. He told me that he was an attorney and that he attended Arizona State’s law school after undergraduate. He had been working at his current law firm for almost nine years. He moved from Phoenix to D.C. for his current job.

I’m very interested in going to law school so I asked him how to give me the story of everything from applying to Arizona State’s law school and the process of attending it. He explained that it was very demanding and that it required a lot of reading and attentiveness. He worked extremely hard to get his current job and was working almost 80 hours a week when he was starting off as an attorney.

He had also interned in D.C. while he was in college at Arizona State. He worked in a law firm that practiced personal injury law. I’ve heard many mixed reviews from lawyers about how they enjoy their job. He said from his very first law internship that he knew that this was the career he wanted. This was very motivating for me to hear because I’ve been thinking about if this is what I want to pursue.

Unfortunately I was not able to talk to him for as long as I would have liked to because we were on lunch breaks, however I gave him my business card. He was a very welcoming and interesting guy. I hope to run into him again soon and talk to him more.  It was great to meet a fellow Sundevil alumni and to hear about how D.C. has helped his career path.

 

 

Week 2

This summer, I am working on a communications and development internship at the Northeast Midwest Institute. NEMWI is a nonprofit and nonpartisan research and policy organization. Their mission is to, “promote economic vitality, environmental quality, and regional quality for the 18 Northeastern and Midwestern states.”

Northeast Midwest Institute was founded in 1977 with the help of the Northeast Midwest Congressional Coalition and the Northeast Midwest Senate Coalition. They helped form the institution to provide policy guidance to the coalitions in order to craft sound federal legislation. The mission of the institution has three parts; to protect the environment, enhance the economy, and ensure regional equity for the member states.

They seek to develop policy options to help educate congressional coalitions and task forces within these two regions about environmental quality. A few of these policy areas are legacy cities, water quality, The Great Lakes, The Mississippi River, and government reform.

I found one of my first tasks at the institution to be very interesting. For the first time ever, they decided to branch out from environmental quality and task me with something that they had never tried before. They assigned me with studying gun violence in hopes to find a bipartisan approach to addressing this problem. While its been difficult to do so, I’ve learned a lot and have enjoyed working on this. We are hoping to use the information I’ve found and have a briefing with congress about it. I enjoy being the start of something that will hopefully become much more large scale as it progresses.

I will be working on many things, but one that is really exciting to me is that I am working on their newsletter. I’ve been working very hard on this as well, and I’m excited to see my hard work and progress on paper when the newsletter is released. I’ve also been helping with the website and updating it.

This week, I learned about gun violence and many bipartisan groups that are working to stop gun violence. We are hoping to reach out and possibly work with them. I also read a 43 page PDF on water pollution and nutrient credit trading and wrote an essay on both subjects. I learned about ecosystems and the need to improve water quality, wildlife habitats, reduce flood damage, and restore the wetlands.

 

 

Hello DC My Old Friend

From the moment I got here, I was excited to be as much of a tourist as I could be. I hadn’t been to D.C. since I was very young so I was ecstatic to attempt to tour everything I could in one night. After moving in, a group of us decided to go visit the Lincoln Memorial. I was surprised at how much larger it was in person. We went at night so it was less crowded and was a very calming experience. The view of the monument from the memorial was a beautiful sight.

We then walked down the mall towards the monument. We were wondering how deep the water was because of when Jenny ran across it in Forrest Gump. We eventually found out it is around 18 inches. Thanks, Google. We stopped by the National World War 2 Memorial which was very peaceful. We refused to leave before we found Arizona, which took a while but we eventually did it.

Our end goal was to get to the Capitol, which at the time looked relatively close to where we were. In hindsight, it was nowhere near where we were. We accidentally came across the White House and got as close as we could. Unfortunately, they would not allow us to take a last minute surprise tour and we could only go up to the gate. We walked a ways further but began to get tired before we could make it to the Capitol so we went back to WISH to rest for the next day.

Anthony had swore to us the day before that he would be waking us all up no matter what at 6:00 in the morning to go to Arlington for Memorial Day. We woke up at around 6:30 in the morning to find Anthony still sleeping. We got ready for the day and headed to Arlington. Luckily for us, we ran into Cameron on the way and he lead us the entire day. We got to the Arlington Cemetery and took a bus up to the Memorial Amphitheater. We listened to Army Major General Michael Howard, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and President Trump give a speech. Afterwards, we walked back through the Arlington Cemetery where I put the rose that I had on the grave of a general from World War 2 with the last name Parker. We visited the Kennedy memorial before leaving.

We headed for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History because we were hankering to see dinosaurs. And by dinosaurs, I mean t-rex’s. Of course we had to save the best for last though; so we began with looking at mammals from Australia and Latin America. My favorite mammal that we saw were the flying squirrels. We then headed to the sea animal section. I’m a huge fan of narwhals, and was very pleased to see that they did indeed have a narwhal section. I learned that the narwhals horn is actually used as a tooth. Then, we finally got there. The t-rex section. There was only one t-rex which I was disappointed about, but nonetheless it was a t-rex. I’m looking forward to visiting the other Smithsonian museums very soon.

The next day I started my internship at the Northeast Midwest Institute. I met the other interns and staff and felt very welcomed. I’m very excited to write more updates about the progress of my internship. While I’m sad I had to miss many of the events with the rest of the Capital Scholar’s, it was great to begin working. However, I did get to attend some more events. It was incredible being able to visit the Supreme Court and see where the supreme court room. I think this was my favorite thing I’ve experienced so far. Visiting the Capitol and learning the history of it shocked me because I did not know that there was that many historical monuments inside that section. Finally, I thought visiting Annapolis was an incredible experience. It’s a beautiful town and I got to meet the mayor who had helped shape the city to the way it is today. I’m excited to learn more about DC and continue posting updates as each week goes along.